TikTok users are, once again, taking beauty standards too far. "Bone smashing" is an alarming trend where people hit themselves with hammers, massage guns, and other objects in the face to improve their looks. And it's become a seemingly popular trend on the social media app amongst younger men.
The new trend is when people purposefully break their facial bones in the hopes that the broken bones will grow back in a way that makes them more physically attractive. Chiseled jawlines and high cheekbones have become appealing to the users — who are mostly male — in their desperate and wicked attempt to become their ideal of beauty.
According to Etan Sugarman, an orthopedic surgeon at Lenox Health Greenwich Village, the likelihood of this successfully happening is relatively low.
The craze is a subset of a more significant social media phenomenon dubbed "looksmaxing," which denotes an individual's efforts to enhance their outward appearance. Looksmaxing includes anything from cosmetic procedures, skin care regimens, and healthy eating to extreme behaviors like disordered eating, excessive exercise, and more.
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How does bone smashing work?
Wolff's rule, which was put forward by German physician Julius Wolff in the 19th century and is frequently cited by supporters of bone smashing, states that bones will adjust to the demands or stress exerted on them. For instance, a person who does hard labor as part of their job could discover that the body component they utilize the most frequently has evolved to handle the strain it experiences.
According to Wolff's Law, bones continually remodel throughout a person's lifespan as a result of the resorption of old or damaged bone followed by the deposition of new bone material. Although it has been used in bone care for osteoporosis, bone fractures, and physical therapy, bone remodeling is not always appropriate.
The growth plates at the extremities of bones are where bones often develop. There is no possibility for bone growth in the center, just for healing.
As a result, according to Sugarman, the outcome after breaking a bone and recovering is roughly the same as it was before breaking it. Furthermore, breaking bones will rarely result in a positive change in how your face or body is shaped.
Potential side effects of bone smashing
In addition to the agony of intentionally shattering bones, long-term hazards and repercussions may necessitate more extensive reconstructive surgery to regain function.
A facial scar following surgery would further compromise the anticipated outcome of better looks. Without careful preparation by a qualified expert, the bones may regrow in a way that results in an unsightly disfigurement.
Furthermore, internal or external bleeding and irreversible nerve injury might happen. Because young people's bones are developing and changing genetically before they reach maturity, the damage is significantly more severe.
Additionally, to accommodate the rapid phase of development that occurs during puberty, growth plates remodel quicker than other bone tissue. The development of bones in the afflicted area might be slowed or stunted if a growth plate is damaged. In fact, the significance of having healthy, strong bones in people's bone mineral density has been dropping.
While achieving a jawline or strong nose may signify a beauty standard for certain people, never hit yourself in the face with a hammer in order to do so.
- Arthritis Research & Therapy. Wolff's law in action: a mechanism for early knee osteoarthritis.